Welcome back for Part Eight of Interview #100. Here are answers to the fifth question.
Read Part One here. Current Involvement, Part one
Read Part Two here. Current Involvement, Part two
Read Part Three here. Opportunities, part one
Read Part Four here. Opportunities, part two
Read Part Five here. Changes, part one
Read Part Six here. Changes, part two
Read Part Seven here. Next in Steampunk
How has steampunk, the culture, and the community affected you personally?
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine: We have met some of the finest people—con organizers alight with passion for the punk, talented people like Thomas Willeford, Voltaire, Doctor Q, The Men Who Will Be Blamed for Nothing, and those voices of the movement like The Steampunk Ambassador, Suna Dasi, and Diana Pho—through this genre. It’s a wide-eyed wonderful community, some whom have read our books, some whom have heard us talk about steampunk, and we feel welcomed. The creativity is nothing less than inspiring. The community continuously keeps us driven.
Arthur Slade: It’s curious. I’m just a writer. And I write whatever comes to mind for me. So in many ways I fell into the steampunk world by accident. But I’ve come away from the experience with loads of respect for the creativity of that community. Even though steampunk is about the “old” days, it’s also about creating something new from the old. Whether that be books, movies, clothing or really cool devices. I’ve found it to be a very welcoming community. So thanks for letting me step onto the airship.
Jaymee Goh: I’ve met some of my most favourite people through steampunk, and had some really unique experiences that I don’t know if I could have replicated elsewhere with some other lifepath. I appreciate daily little technologies a lot more, too, and I’ve learned that working with my hands has a distinct pleasure that doesn’t contradict the life of the mind.
I’ve also learned more about history, and histories, which I was probably happier not knowing, because they’re such painful histories. But the sadness I have spurs me on to a refined sense of justice that is neither reductive nor simplistic (even though I can be a reductive and simple-minded person at times).
Jean-Christophe Valtat: Beyond what I said about having an audience that could “get it”, I think that first and foremost, the huge amount of research one has to do has to as a streampunk writer, has considerably enriched my own culture and made me reflect on the impact the past has upon the present. As to the community, what I found the most interesting perhaps was this drive to change your daily life, make it more harmonious, more significant, not only through reading, but also through dressing up, or surrounding yourselves with beautiful objects. I like this idea of reading seeping in real life, instead of just being a separate reality, or pure escapism. It certainly changed the way I dress…
Nick Valentino: I guess the biggest thing for me, is that it’s opened my eyes to so much. It’s made me a more open person, and I’d like to think it’s made me a better person.I feel that interacting with so many people over the years has made me more fun, and generally happier than I ever have been. It’s been a chain of awesome that seems to exponentially compound for me. Personally, a simple Steampunk book begat friends, connections, travel, opportunities, and meeting the most amazing person I have ever met. Who knew? It’s funny how such a seemingly small thing can change your life.
Evan Butterfield: I’ve met some delightful, creative people, which is always nice. I’ve always had a steampunky aesthetic even when I didn’t know that’s what I had, so I can’t say it showed me The Way, but really more confirmed what I already felt. I suspect that’s not a unique experience. Mostly it’s given me a really interesting thing to explore in my photography, and keeps me from spending all my time randomly surfing the Internet.
James Ng: It has given me a community where I could connect with other artists and fans. It has done a lot more for me than I ever expected. It is more than just work.
Gail Carriger: Aside from changing my life? Well I just ordered a new corset, does that count? I suspect if I weren’t a steampunk author I would have long since gotten rid of most of my costuming, and likely wouldn’t still be creating, mending, and modding as much. For that, I’m grateful. I like still having an alternate creative output to writing.
Richard Preston: I think I have had a very good experience, overall, with the steampunk community. When I published my first book I contacted both Cherie Priest and Gail Carriger with a sort of “Hi! I’m publishing a steampunk book and do you have any advice?” kind of thing and they were both so kind, supportive and full of good advice. Writing steampunk has enriched my life intellectually and also in terms of adventure and fun, and I think I’ll always keep my hand in the genre one way or another.
Diana Pho: It’s strange to think that I’ve been active in the community for about 8 years now — a good chunk of my independent adult life. It has affected me on so many levels; I mean, looking through photos from my steampunky-Vietnamese beachhouse wedding this year says a lot. 🙂 Without being involved in steampunk, my life could have dramatically veered into a different direction — now that is a what-if to ponder!
Mike Perschon: I’ve traveled across the world and had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people. The greatest gift steampunk has given me is a bunch of good friends.
Join us tomorrow for answers to the sixth question in Part Nine of Interview #100!
Thanks to everyone who has participated:
Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, read the first interview here.
Evan Butterfield, read the first interview here.
Gail Carriger, read the first interview here.
Jaymee Goh, read the first interview here.
James Ng, read the first interview here.
Mike Perschon, read the first interview here.
Diana Pho, read the first interview here.
Richard Preston, read the first interview here.
Lev AC Rosen, read the first interview here.
Arthur Slade, read the first interview here.
Nick Valentino, read the first interview here.
Jean-Christophe Valtat, read the first interview here.
Thanks for all of your support and encouragement!